On that night over two thousand years ago, the most wonderful event in the world happened. The King of kings and Lord of Lords came to earth! The most high and most glorious! But He arrived as a baby and He was born — in a feeding trough!
The news was first shared with a group of shepherds who were tending their sheep. Angels appeared in the sky above them. One spoke, telling them how to find this Savior of the world. It’s recorded in Luke 2:12, “You will recognize Him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
A manger? A feeding trough? What? We remind ourselves; of course, there was no room in the inn, but we must look deeper. You see, it had already been prophesied in the Old Testament, hundreds of years previously, that the Savior would be born in Bethlehem. It was God’s plan. He orchestrated every detail. He planned who would give birth to Jesus. He planned how to get Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem; and yes, He planned that His Son would be born in a feeding trough. It was no unintended mistake or oversight. It was all for purpose.
The Savior began His earthly life in a lowly feeding trough; He would end His earthly life by execution on a criminal’s cross. It was all God’s plan. It wasn’t easy but it was necessary. His lowly birth lets us all know that everyone is invited to come to Him. His lowly death lets us know that everyone is precious to Him. He was born with a purpose to die so we may live. Because of Jesus, we have promise of life after death where no tears or sorrow exist.
He lowered Himself to be born in a feeding trough that anyone from any walk of life may come to Him. We are asked to lower ourselves, to kneel at the cross, to ask His forgiveness, in humility to realize we are less than who we can be without Jesus. Then we may stand up! Stand and be counted His own! Stand and walk forward with new purpose; purpose that brings meaning to life as never before, joy and peace that reigns even in our most grievous moments.
God had a perfect plan for His Son to be born in a feeding trough. It was no mistake. From feeding trough to cross was a difficult road — but the end a most glorious one.
God has a perfect plan for you and me. It has no mistake. From our kneeling at the cross to breathing our last breath will have its own difficulties — but the end result is a most glorious one, too.